Prison time for New Orleans ex-cops in post-Katrina killings
(Reuters) - Four former New Orleans policemen convicted of shooting unarmed people following Hurricane Katrina were sentenced to lengthy prison terms on Wednesday in what the U.S. government described as the most important police misconduct case since the Rodney King beating nearly two decades ago.
The four former officers - Kenneth Bowen, Robert Faulcon, Robert Gisevius and Anthony Villavaso - were sentenced by a federal judge to between 38 and 65 years in prison. A fifth former officer - Arthur "Archie" Kaufman - who did not participate in the killings but engineered a four-year cover-up of the crimes was sentenced to six years.
In both the Los Angeles and New Orleans cases, the federal government stepped in to prosecute the police officers for misconduct after local efforts failed.
Witnesses testified that when the officers arrived, they jumped out of the truck and repeatedly fired assault rifles, shotguns and handguns at civilians walking on the bridge.
"These officers shot Ronald down like an animal," he said. Turning to the defendants, he said: "You are responsible for the nightmares that have devastated my family."
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